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The challenges of middle-aged travel. And they are not what you think they are.

Posted in Aging, Life & Love, and Women's issues

Image by the fmmensely funny Chaz Hutton
Image by the immensely funny Chaz Hutton

So a couple of challenges have presented themselves over the past days in NYC. Realisations about ourselves that neither of us had anticipated. Nor welcomed. Proof that no matter how much we may say the opposite – things have changed. We are not the women we once were.

We have become spacially challenged.

Over the past week the good people of NYC have been confronted by the sight of two middle-aged women, standing on the corner of 11th and somewhere, deciphering a map/instructions written out by hand from a website. They look in opposite directions, consult again, staring off again. They re-orient their bodies – now peering in the opposite direction. They look at the map/instructions again and at each other. Eventually the dark haired one says to the redhead – “I think we need to ask Siri”.

Which they do. And the physical manoeuvering starts again. With the iPhone held out (for some reason) at arm’s length. Then the redhead drops her glasses in the middle of the street and has to grope around to find them. As she bends over, her bag falls from her shoulder hitting the side of her head. And the black haired women, not realising her friend is groping around on the tar: bumps into her. They stop, reposition and, ignoring Siri’s plaintive pleas to the contrary, march off down the wrong street. Only to change course on the next block. Followed by a stop on another corner. Eventually they ask the postman.

If we were Amazing Race contestants – the audience would be screaming at their televisions.

We are selfie challenged.

I am sure there are techniques that we could research – and God knows I have watched Hannah Darcey and the Kardashians taking a million pics of their beautiful selves. But here’s the rub: we look terrible in close-up. Claudia’s face goes into bizarre/quizzical spasm and I gurn like raver on Ecstasy. After reviewing the pictures, we agree that we must only take long shots. That way our faces will be smaller and the peculiar expressions less immediately noticeable. So we try – but that doesn’t work either because now we can’t see what we are doing. Eventually we resort to ask passersby to help us – and choose badly. For the other people who are out wandering around NYC in the middle of the day are also tourists and they are also middle-aged. And they don’t know how to work an iPhone.

So they cut off our feet.

The good thing is we laugh our way through all of this. There’s no irritation or clipped tones or sulking. We just go about our business. Part of which involves thinking the same thing at the same time. Which makes making decisions so much easier. And less stressful. It’s almost as if one starts a thought and the other completes it.

Now; if only we could  remember what that thought was.

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  1. […] with Patti Smith. It was the last night of our holiday and raining. On the way to the theatre we (predictably) got lost, and as Claudia tried to deal with her Health Insurance company we walked through the wet […]

    November 17, 2015
  2. Glenis

    Sorry if this is a duplication but pushed wrong button by mistake. Does this sound familiar. The two of you seem to be having a fun filled time and I totally relate to you. Now when I visit the UK 2 hours on Oxford Street seem like a marathon. Before, not so long ago, I could walk London for hours. Now it is Claudia’s turn to visit the most beautiful city on earth, then I can join in the fun. (Only girls allowed). Parenthesis talk again!!!!

    November 6, 2015
  3. daldaeyes


    November 6, 2015
  4. You are so lucky… I was born spatially challenged! And it can’t possibly get any worse. It just can’t.

    November 6, 2015

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